Journal of leukocyte biology

JAK/STAT regulation of Aspergillus fumigatus corneal infections and IL-6/23-stimulated neutrophil, IL-17, elastase, and MMP9 activity.

PMID 27034404


IL-6 and IL-23 (IL-6/23) induce IL-17A (IL-17) production by a subpopulation of murine and human neutrophils, resulting in autocrine IL-17 activation, enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, and increased fungal killing. As IL-6 and IL-23 receptors trigger JAK1, -3/STAT3 and JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation, respectively, we examined the role of this pathway in a murine model of fungal keratitis and also examined neutrophil elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity by IL-6/23-stimulated human neutrophils in vitro. We found that STAT3 phosphorylation of neutrophils in Aspergillus fumigatus-infected corne as was inhibited by the JAK/STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib, resulting in impaired fungal killing and decreased matrix metalloproteinase 9 activity. In vitro, we showed that fungal killing by IL-6/23-stimulated human peripheral blood neutrophils was impaired by JAK/STAT inhibitors Ruxolitinib and Stattic, and by the retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt inhibitor SR1001. This was also associated with decreased reactive oxygen species, IL-17A production, and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt translocation to the nucleus. We also demonstrate that IL-6/23-activated neutrophils exhibit increased elastase and gelatinase (matrix metalloproteinase 9) activity, which is inhibited by Ruxolitinib and Stattic but not by SR1001. Taken together, these observations indicate that the regulation of activity of IL-17-producing neutrophils by JAK/STAT inhibitors impairs reactive oxygen species production and fungal killing activity but also blocks elastase and gelatinase activity that can cause tissue damage.

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SR1001, ≥98% (HPLC)